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“Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world.

Bruno Barbey is a Frenchman born in Morocco. He studied photography and graphic arts at the École des Arts et Métiers in Vevey, Switzerland. Between 1961 and 1964 he photographed the Italians, treating them as protagonists of a small ‘theatrical world’, with the aim of capturing the spirit of a nation. During the 1960s, he was commissioned by Éditions Rencontre in Lausanne to report from European and African countries. He also contributed regularly to Vogue. Barbey began his relationship with in 1964, becoming a full member in 1968, the year he documented the political unrest and student riots in Paris. A decade later, between 1979 and 1981, he photographed Poland at a turning point in its history, publishing his work in the widely acclaimed book Poland. He served as Magnum vice president for Europe in 1978 and 1979 and as President of Magnum International from 1992 – 1995 Over four decades Barbey has journeyed across five continents and into numerous military conflicts. Although he rejects the label of ‘war photographer’, he has covered civil wars in Nigeria, Vietnam, the Middle East, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Kuwait. His work has appeared in most of the world’s major magazines. Barbey is known particularly for his free and harmonious use of colour. He has frequently worked in Morocco, the country of his childhood. In 1999 the Petit Palais, Paris, organized a large exhibition of photographs that Barbey had taken in Morocco during the previous three decades. He has received many awards for his work, including the French National Order of Merit; his photographs have been exhibited internationally and are in numerous museum collections.